A large metal sphere washed up on a Japanese beach has mystified authorities.
The five-foot hollow ball is not explosive, per authorities, who say it could just be a buoy.
The internet rejects this, and is awash with references to manga show Dragon Ball and Godzilla.
A mysterious iron sphere that washed up on a Japanese beach has baffled authorities and sent social media into a spin.
The metal ball of around five feet in diameter recently appeared on Enshuhama Beach in the coastal city of Hamamatsu, state broadcaster NHK reported.
A passer-by reported it to police on Saturday, prompting an inspection, but one local man told the outlet that the ball had sat there for more than a month, the outlet said.
The beach was subsequently cordoned off, with officials in protective clothing sent to inspect it.
Masaki Matsukawa, a representative of the city’s civil engineering office, told the outlet that it’s still not clear exactly what the rust-pocked object is. The office thinks it could be a buoy, the outlet reported — an explanation that would be borne out by the presence of two metal handles that appear to be sticking out of it.
Coming on the tail of the media furore around Chinese spy balloons, however, the object has nonetheless sent social media users into a flurry of speculation.
Some quickly suggested that it is likely one of the orbs from the popular manga series Dragon Ball. Others disagreed, saying it’s clearly a reptile egg readying to birth Godzilla.
A bomb disposal team was dispatched and, after performing an X-ray, established that there’s no risk of explosion, NHK said.
The sphere was scheduled for removal on Wednesday, and will be stored in case someone comes to claim it, NHK wrote.
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